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Suspended sentence and one-year ban for Suffolk man convicted of causing cyclist's death by careless driving

Investigators said cyclist would have been “glaringly obvious” from 115 metres away

A Newmarket man who killed a cyclist in an “entirely avoidable” collision on his way to work in January 2017 has been handed a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and a one-year driving ban.

The East Anglian Daily Times reports that Zoltan Domotor was cycling along the A1304 in Newmarket at around 6.30am when he was hit from behind by 23-year-old Danut Birle.

Domotor was hit by the bonnet and windscreen of the car and suffered multiple fatal injuries, including a fractured skull.

He usually travelled to work on his motorbike, but due to a fault the day before the incident, on this occasion he cycled.

His wife said: “Zoltan had always said the roads were dangerous – he was not happy to cycle again.”

CCTV footage showed that Domotor was wearing a high vis jacket with reflectors on his pedals. Police tests later showed he would have been visible for a period of between four and 10 seconds.

Police forensic accident investigator PC Dean Webb said the test showed that when the reflective jacket was 115 metres away, it became "glaringly obvious" what it was and that Birle should have had time to emergency brake or take avoiding action.

Prosecutor Charles Myatt said: "From all the evidence available, it seems that Mr Birle did neither of these."

The nearside headlight of Birle's car was found to have been faulty and did not work on dipped beam.

There were no witnesses to the collision, but another motorist, Laura Towns, had been overtaken by Birle a short time before and said he had pulled away "at speed."

The collision took place at a speed believed to be in excess of 50mph.

Birle initially pleaded not guilty and claimed that Domotor had been riding towards him with either weak or no lights.

He later changed his plea and accepted all blame for the accident at sentencing.

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